what's left behind

This has many images in it. You may even find a few more if you snoop around the filesystem!

I’ve kind of always had a fascination with things that only live on thanks to technology. Recently I was watching a VOD of the deceased streamer Etika playing Undertale, and in a weird way, it felt so… wrong. Like I was not supposed to be there.

In a way, another example of this is liminal spaces. Places that seem vaguely familiar, that should be inhabited by humans, but aren’t.

When all is said and done, I feel like what’s left behind can be fascinating.

I don’t watch FitMC. Some of his videos can be informative, but I blocked him on Youtube a long time ago and I can’t remember why. I doubt I still hold the same grudge against him, but I’m just gonna keep it the way it is. However, a video of his popped up in a search result a while ago that piqued my interest—a Minecraft anarchy server ran by MrBeast that nobody played on anymore.

SimpCraft was a Minecraft server created by MrBeast for a one-off video, and it’s still up to this day. Why? I dunno. Fit posted a video of him exploring some of it, which totally fascinated me, and I wondered if I could do the same. So, I booted up Minecraft, and logged on.

As I joined, I looked upon a barren wasteland featuring nobody within render distance. There were lavacasts and churned up terrain everywhere. The server was running fine, and it seemed like a fair bit of TLC was put into it. I found it odd that at least one person was speaking Dutch in chat, but I’m not gonna get pissed at people for where they’re from. I stumbled across the remnants of a house about a thousand blocks out, but it was completely gutted—not even planks remained.

It was becoming night, and I didn’t want to deal with hostile mobs, so I logged off for a few minutes.

After I rejoined, I traveled a little while longer, and found a neat little house built in to a lavacast, with some trees next to it. I also got a little more comfortable with using blatant hacks, since the anticheat didn’t seem to mind. I meandered for another minute or two, until I found a completely intact house, with a mineshaft. But I was getting hungry, and the second night was fast approaching.

As I wandered, I found more signs of people’s presence—stripped logs, floating trees, and crafting tables. And I wondered: How many people have been here before me? But the thought was soon interrupted, as I saw a sheep—the first food in 3,000 blocks.

I was wary of entering nether portals, but I figured out that my client’s Boat Fly module worked—and I was zooming along, letting me encounter more interesting structures.

The trend of the world getting less and less disturbed continued, but there was constant small reminders I was far from the first.

I found a village eventually, with no more villagers. There were some sign items on the ground, so I picked them up, and left a message for the next person who stops by it.

I also enabled ESP for signs, because I didn’t want to miss any possible messages. But I didn’t have to wait long to see results. I found an extremely nice, un-griefed base. It was situated over a natural mineshaft, and the houses were much better than I could ever make. I searched for a while, but I could only find one sign: please dont grief. Because I’m a nice person, I only took a few crops, replanted, and went on my way.

As I was flying away, I did something I didn’t expect to do: I turned around. Once I started going back, another thought occured to me. Why do this? Why do I go through this world with Replay Mod? Why do I write this blog post? As Sweden faded in, it came back to me. It’s not for any particularly noble reason. I’m just a hoarder.

I got a phone call from my aunt today. Ever since my grandmother—her mother—died, my aunt has kept around 150 voicemails from her. I can never send her a voicemail, because her inbox is always full. Full with messages from her dead mother. The reason she called me is because her SIM card is going to die in a few days, and she was making backups of every message.

And I’m no different. But instead of hoarding anything physical, I hoard data. Whenever a friend is going to delete a Discord server, I secretely use ToS-breaking software to backup every message, every image, every memory.

I’m using the Replay Mod because I don’t want this to be forgotten. It’s a similar feeling to viewing the social media profile of a dead friend. Or walking through a newly deceased relative’s house. You cling on to the memories for dear life, despite knowing that the good times are behind you.

Is this a bad thing? That’s a question that I’ve been asking myself for a long time. Some countries think so, implementing “right to be forgotten” laws, where you can request information be deleted. I haven’t made up my mind, and I’m honestly not sure if I ever will. But in the mean time, it’s a safe bet to keep it all—just in case.

I hope you liked this different style of blog post. If you have any constructive criticism, feel free to share it with me on my Discord Server. For now, I think I’m going to need to buy a bigger hard drive…

After writing this article, I spent 3 hours flying to the world border in the Nether. Probably not the best idea, but I think I was the 4th person to ever do it! :P